This month’s Reimagine Candlelight Vigil is co-led by Tony Award-winning playwright and screenwriter, David Henry Hwang on Friday, April 9 at 5pm PT/8pm EST, to mourn the lives lost to Asian hate.
Join us as we honor those we’ve lost since the pandemic and to explore the role of self-expression/arts in metabolizing our relationship with death, in the service of helping us all live more fully.
At this vigil, we are particularly looking to also engage in mourning lives lost to Asian hate, thereby elevating this topic more broadly.
We are excited to invite David Henry Hwang to join us for so many reasons; he has his own brushes with death to draw on, he’s explored themes of life and death and race through his own creative pursuits, and he’s a powerful voice in elevating a conversation about the atrocities long in the shadows against Asian Americans.
We will be joined onstage by Reimagine board member and one of the US’s top marketing executives, Eric Toda, who has recently used his platform as a member of AdWeek’s board to lobby brands to get behind the crucial StopAsianHate movement. Reimagine has been bringing the AAPI community together, across generations, and creating programming by and for Asian Americans to hold crucial conversations on living and dying well.
This event demarcates the 15-month anniversary of the first reported death from COVID-19, back on January 9, 2020 in Wuhan. Each month on the 9th we’ve hosted a similar virtual candlelight vigil to reflect on themes of death, loss, memory, and honor, where guests use the zoom chat to share names of those who have died or are suffering. We’ve been graced by incredible vigil leaders and speakers, including authors Neil Gaiman and Anne Lamott, spiritual leaders Jack Kornfield and Frank Ostaseski, health care leaders like Dr. BJ Miller and COVID activists like Kristin Urquiza—each helping audiences in need of communal grieving break down taboos around talking about the hardest parts of our existence. Click here to RSVP.
About David Henry Hwang
Few writers have turned issues around ethnicity and identity into a widely acclaimed and award-winning career like David Henry Hwang. This Chinese American playwright, described by the New York Times as “a true original” and by Time Magazine as “the first important dramatist of American public life since Arthur Miller,” is best known as the author of M. Butterfly. That enduring 1988 work, which won a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, John Gassner Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award, was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. To date, M. Butterfly has been staged in over four dozen countries and was the basis for a major motion picture.
In late 2017, M. Butterfly was revived on Broadway, directed by Julie Taymor. His newest “play with music,” Soft Power, with composer Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home), directed by frequent collaborator Leigh Silverman, premiered in spring 2018 at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre and opened in New York in October 2019. Soft Power received six L.A. Ovation Awards in 2019 and was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. In 2020 a cast album was released and it was honored as an Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical by The Outer Critics Circle.
According to Time Magazine, “Hwang has the potential to become the first important dramatist of American public life since Arthur Miller, and maybe the best of them all.”
As a nonprofit organization, Reimagine draws on the arts, design, medicine, and spirituality to transform taboo cultural attitudes around death and grief, and to address the inequities surrounding how we live and die. With over 100,000 attendees, Reimagine End of Life festivals have quickly become the largest end-of-life events in the United States. Reimagine was named a “World Changing Idea” by Fast Company Magazine.
Join us on a mission to help people face death, and in so doing, to embrace this one precious life. During the pandemic, and through Reimagine’s community and events platform, we have sparked more than one thousand diverse virtual experiences–from candlelight vigils to trainings on social justice, from art shows to advance care planning seminars–working with hundreds of organizations in the process, and creating healing, positive spaces for over 50,000 Americans in the last couple months alone.
Visit letsreimagine.org to learn more about Reimagine’s ongoing programming.